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Margaret Amelia Banks

b. July 3, 1928, Québec, QC; d. Apr. 29, 2010, London, ON


1949 BA (Hons.) Bishop’s University
1950 MA University of Toronto
1953 PhD History (University of Toronto)


1953-1961 Archivist, Archives of Ontario
1961-1989 Law Librarian, University of Western Ontario
1967-1974 Assistant Professor (Law), University of Western Ontario
1969-1974 Assistant Professor (Graduate History), University of Western Ontario
1974-1986 Associate Professor (Graduate History and Law), University of Western Ontario
1986-1989 Professor, University of Western Ontario
1989 Professor Emerita of Law, University of Western Ontario


Banks, Margaret A. (1957). Edward Blake, Irish nationalist: a Canadian statesman in Irish politics, 1892-1907. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.

Banks, Margaret A. (1965). Toronto opinion of French Canada during the Laurier regime, 1896-1911. Toronto: University of Toronto Library, Photocopy Services. (Thesis (MA), University of Toronto, 1950).

Banks, Margaret A. (1971). Using a law library: a guide for students and lawyers in the common law provinces of Canada. London, Ont.: University of Western Ontario, School of Library and Information Science. 2nd to 4th editions published by Carswell, 1974, 1980, 1985. 5th and 6th editions published by Carswell, 1991 and 1994 under title: Banks on using a law library: a Canadian guide to legal research. 6th edition by Margaret A. Banks and Karen E.H. Foti.

Banks, Margaret A. (1984). Law at Western, 1959-1984. London, Ont.: Faculty of Law, University of Western Ontario.

Banks, Margaret A. (1988). The Canadian Association of Law Libraries / L’Association canadienne des bibliothèques de droit: a history. London, Ont.: s.n. (Canadian Association of Law Libraries Newsletter, Special issue 1988).

Banks, Margaret A. (1989). The libraries at Western, 1970 to 1987: with summaries of their earlier history and a 1988 postscript. London, Ont.: University of Western Ontario.

Banks, Margaret A. (1991). Understanding Canada’s constitution: including summaries of some reports recommending changes. London, Ont.: M.A. Banks.

Jared, Eleanor C., Margaret A. Banks (1997). A short history of the Anglican Church of St. John the Divine, Arva. Arva, Ont.: Church of St. John the Divine. “Addendum 1951-1997” by Margaret A. Banks.

Banks, Margaret A. (2001). Sir John George Bourinot, Victorian Canadian: his life, times, and legacy. Montreal: McGill-Queen’s University Press.

Banks, Margaret A. (1954). “Edward Blake’s relations with Canada during his Irish career, 1892-1907.” Canadian Historical Review, vol. 35: 22-42.

Banks, Margaret A. (1957). “The change in Liberal Party leadership, 1887.” Canadian Historical Review, vol. 38: 109-128.

Banks, Margaret A. (1960). “Blake, Edward.” Encyclopedia Britannica.

Banks, Margaret A. (1965). “Privy Council, Cabinet, and Ministry in Britain and Canada: a story of confusion.” Canadian Journal of Economics and political Science, vol. 31: 193-205.

Banks, Margaret A. (1966). “Privy Council, Cabinet and Ministry in Britain and Canada: a reply to the comments of Mr. Forsey and Professor Lloyd.” Canadian Journal of Economics and Political Science, vol. 32: 90-93.

Banks, Margaret A. (1968). “Drafting the American constitution: attitudes in the Philadelphia Convention towards the British system of government.” American Journal of Legal History, vol. 10: 15-33.

Banks, Margaret A. (1967). “Edward Blake: a portrait of his childhood.” In Profiles of a province. Toronto: Ontario Historical Society: 92-96.

Banks, Margaret A. (1967). “The franchise in Britain and Canada.” University of Toronto Law Journal, vol. 17: 187-194.

Banks, Margaret A. (1969). “The voting rights of persons other than Canadian citizens in federal and provincial elections.” Western Ontario law Review, vol. 8: 147-155.

Banks, Margaret A. (1969). “Edward Blake.” Law Society of Upper Canada Gazette, vol. 3: 181-184. (Letter to the Editor, commenting on article on Blake in previous issue).

Banks, Margaret A. (1970). “Marriage with a deceased wife’s sister: law and practice in Upper Canada, with a summary of Post-Confederation changes.” Western Ontario Historical Notes, vol. 25, no. 2 (Spring): 1-6.

Banks, Margaret A. (1973). “Upper and Lower Canada or Canada West and East, 1841-67?” Canadian Historical Review, vol. 54: 473-480.

Banks, Margaret A. (1975) “Call me Madam Chairman!” Parliamentary Journal, vol. 16, no.4 (October): 35-37.

Banks, Margaret A. (1976). “George Warburton Spragge, 1893-1976.” Ontario History, vol. 68: 116-118.

Banks, Margaret A. (1977). “An introduction to British government documents.” International Journal of Law Libraries, vol. 5: 191-201.

Banks, Margaret A. (1977). “That elusive pocket manual of 1876: the first edition of Robert’s rules of order.” Parliamentary Journal, vol. 18, no. 4 (October): 24-29.

Banks, Margaret A. (1977). “The chair’s casting vote: some inconsistencies and problems.” University of Western Ontario Law Review, vol. 16: 197-213.

Banks, Margaret A. (1978). “The previous question, closure, and the modern notion to close debate or vote immediately.” Parliamentary Journal, vol. 19, no. 1 (January): 32-36.

Banks, Margaret A (1978). “Every member present shall vote: mandatory or directive?” Parliamentary Journal, vol.19, no. 3 (July): 6-12.

Banks, Margaret A. (1979). [Thomson’s manual of parliamentary practice, 1828] “An undetected case of plagiarism.” Parliamentary Journal, vol. 20, no. 2 (April): 1-11.

Banks, Margaret A. (1980). “The defeat of the Clark government: a study in parliamentary procedure.” Parliamentary Journal, vol. 21, no. 4 (October): 34-37.

Banks, Margaret A. (1981). “Parliamentary procedure in Canada: heredity versus environment.” Parliamentary Journal, vol. 22: 153-160. (Reprinted with an addendum in American Institute of Parliamentarians, Readings in parliamentary law, edited by Gregg Phifer. Dubuque, Iowa: Kendall/Hunt Publishing Company, 1992: 203-212.

Banks, Margaret A (1981). “An annotated bibliography of statutes and related publications: Upper Canada, the province of Canada, and Ontario, 1792-1980.” In Essays in the history of Canadian law, vol. 1, edited by David H. Flaherty. Toronto: University of Toronto Press for the Osgoode Society: 358-404.

Banks, Margaret A. (1982). Robert’s rule of orders: a multiplicity of editions and reprints.” Canadian Library Journal, vo. 39: 367-371.

Banks, Margaret A. (1983). Canada’s Banks and Banking Law Revision Act, 1980: an example of how not to draft a bill.” Canadian Association of Law Libraries Newsletter, vol. 8 (n.s.), no. 2 (March/April): 33-34.

Banks, Margaret A. (1983). “The Canada Act 1982: some facts and comments.” University of Western Ontario Law Review, vol. 21: 155-161.

Banks, Margaret A. (1983). “Citing Canada’s constitution: problems and proposed solutions.” Canadian Bar Review, vol. 61: 499-504.

Banks, Margaret A. (1983). “The evolution of the Ontario courts, 1788-1981.” In Essays in the history of Canadian law, vol. 2, edited by David H. Flaherty. Toronto: University of Toronto Press for the Osgoode Society: 492-572.

Banks, Margaret A. (1985). “[Problems in statutory citation].” Canadian Association of Law Libraries Newsletter, vol. 10 (n.s.), no. 1 (January/February): 3-6. [Paper presented as a participant on Panel on Legal Citation, Annual Conference, Canadian Association of Law Libraries, London, Ont., May 1984].

Banks, Margaret A. (1985). “Defining ‘constitution of the province’: the crux of the Manitoba language controversy.” McGill Law Journal, vol. 31: 466-479.

Banks, Margaret A. (1988). “The Canadian Association of Law Libraries / L’Association canadienne des bibliothèques de droit: beginnings.” In Law libraries in Canada: essays to honour Diana M. Priestly, edited by Joan N. Fraser. Toronto: Carswell: 191-201.

Banks, Margaret A. (1988). “Ontario’s courts, 1867-1987: conflicts and confusion.” Law Society of Upper Canada Gazette, vol. 22: 110-118.

Banks, Margaret A. (1988). “Robert’s rules of order: editions, reprints, and competitors.” Law Library Journal, vol. 80: 177-192.

Banks, Margaret A. (1990). “If the Queen were to abdicate: procedure under Canada’s constitution.” Alberta Law Review, vol. 28: 535-539.

Banks, Margaret A. (1992). “New insights on Bourinot’s parliamentary publications.” Canadian Parliamentary Review, vol. 15, no. 1 (Spring): 19-25.

Banks, Margaret A. (1993). “Adventures of a retired law librarian: writing a biography of Sir George Bourinot.” Ex Libris News, no. 14 (Fall): 16-18.

Banks, Margaret A. (1993). “Bourinot’s assessment of Canadian libraries in the late nineteenth century.” Épilogue, vol. 8: 65-67.

Banks, Margaret A. (1994). “Bourinot: a student of Robert.” National Parliamentarian, vol. 55, First Quarter: 36-37.

Banks, Margaret A. (1994). “Bourinot, Sir John George.” In Dictionary of Canadian Biography, vol. XIII (1901 to 1910). Toronto: University of Toronto Press: 98-102.


1961-1963 Founding member of Canadian Association of Canadian Association of Law Libraries
1964-1966 Treasurer, Canadian Association of Law Libraries
1989 Honoured Member, Canadian Association of Law Libraries
Member, American Association of Law Libraries
Member, Osgoode Society for Canadian Legal History
Member, Arts and Letters Club, Toronto
Member, National Association of Parliamentarians (U.S.A.). Joined 1972. Qualified as registered parliamentarian 1973, professional registered parliamentarian 1984.
Member, American Institute of Parliamentarians. Qualified as certified parliamentarian 1977, and as certified professional parliamentarian 1982.
1990-1995 Chair, Opinions Committee, American Institute of Parliamentarians


1999 President’s Award, Ontario Occupational Health Nurses Association, for services relating to procedure at meetings.


Margaret Banks was the second Law Librarian at the library of the University Western Ontario Faculty of Law. She also held a faculty appointment at Law – the first female to achieve this position – and another in the department of history. She was “the Doyenne of Canada’s law librarians”, and made numerous contributions to the law library profession, including writing a history of the Canadian Law Library Association. She was a meticulous scholar, a noted authority on parliamentary procedures, and the author of numerous books and articles relating to law, history and parliamentary procedures.
“For the first two thirds of the [University of Western Ontario] law school’s life, Margaret was one of the most important people in the school, said Ian Holloway, Dean of Western Law. The Law Library has an ethos of service and support that is rare today and that ethos originated with Margaret. Her dedication the interests of the schools was unwavering. She was an authority on the law and custom of parliament, and during her career she had occasion to be consulted by the Speakers of both the House of Commons
“Her contribution to the University of Western Ontario … was recognized by the creation of the Banks Room in the Law School. Her portrait, which presides over the room, was a gift of the Carswell Company on the occasion of her retirement and was given to the Law School in recognition of her contribution to Carswell and to the legal profession.”


Canadian who’s who, vol. 37, 2002.
“Margaret A. Banks (1928-2010).” SLAW, May 3, 2010. Accessed May 5, 2016.
Osgood Society for Canadian Legal History. Oral History: Professor Margaret Banks 1987 is found in the Ontario Archives under the code: C81-1-0-58.

biographies/margaret-amelia-banks.txt · Last modified: 2023/11/22 19:55